It was officially the first day of summer of 2010 and me and my son Lewis set out on a chill breezy morning. Lewis had taken care of the sandwiches and sundries, and we set off early from depressing Dumbarton to the beauty of a spring Sunday morning on the shores of the Bonnie , Bonnie Banks.
Mist covered Ben Lomond down to his shoulders, hiding what may be a snow free top or not. The sun fought hard against the persistent dark clouds , moving in rapid south-westerly wind driven fashion, but as is the way on the Scottish Hills, the apparent threat of a soaking dissapated magically.
We were well happed up, quickly working up a sweat, and stopping soon enough to remove a layer or two.
The sodden path was busy with both ascenders and descenders, but all with the joys of spring in their smiles.
This was my 4th ascent of Ben Lomond and Lewis's first, we both had attempted before, a few years back but were beaten back by the fierce winds on that day.
Above the mist depth, the snow patches increased as we climbed , growing to a full covering, and slippy undefoot. It should have been crampoms and ice axe walking, but we took the chance. Like a passenger reactively slamming on the brake in a car on impulse, my boots on occasion went on by themselves on the mountainside hugging path, obvioulsy apprehensive of the sheer 45 degree drop to our left. We got to the top in a record time for me and for the first time in a long time my knees were pretty well up for it on descent. My recent lovelorn diet of not eating seemed to have paid off. Well that's the first one of many hopefully this year year, and it was just great doing it with my boy.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.